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"No pasarán!"
July 18, 2011 12:51 AM   Subscribe

75 Yeas ago today 18 July was the start of the Spanish Civil War. In many cities the people went A Las Baricadas.
In Catalunya this produced the greatest experiment in worker self management the western world has seen and also gave rise to the movement Mujeres Libres whose work is still very much to the fore in present day Latin America.
The story of the Mujeres Libres is shown in the 3 part film Women of the Spanish Revolution I; II; III
For first person recollections here is Living Utopia. Anarchism in Spain which consists of 30 interviews with survivors of the 1936-1939 Spanish Revolution.
1936 when The people rise like a gale.
posted by adamvasco (21 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
Skeletons of Quinto
posted by unigolyn at 2:08 AM on July 18, 2011


Yo te quiero, oh mi corazón.
posted by Alt F4 at 4:47 AM on July 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


FBI Memorandum on The Veterans of The Abraham. Lincoln Brigade 1937 – 1948
posted by ennui.bz at 6:22 AM on July 18, 2011


Romanticize it all you want, but this was nothing but a proxy war between Fascism and Communism. Regardless of who won, democracy would lose and bodies would pile up. There's nothing to celebrate here.
posted by falameufilho at 6:57 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia is also worth pointing out.
Romanticize it all you want, but this was nothing but a proxy war between Fascism and Communism.
No. It was a Fascist war on democracy that turned into a Soviet proxy war because other democracies were unwilling to help.
posted by cdward at 7:19 AM on July 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Romanticize it all you want, but this was nothing but a proxy war between Fascism and Communism.

You're wrong. The Republicans were fighting to preserve a democratically elected government. Yes, there were communists there and they did fuck things up, but at its most basic it was a war between democracy and a fascist general.
posted by nestor_makhno at 7:25 AM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think it might be reasonable to say that both sides are correct - it started out as a fascist coup against a freely elected left of center government, that quickly became a proxy a war between communists and fascists.

Most importantly, any conflict where that many people died is not something to celebrate or romanticize.
posted by JPD at 7:35 AM on July 18, 2011


Very cool, thanks for the post.

No. It was a Fascist war on democracy that turned into a Soviet proxy war because other democracies were unwilling to help.


Actually, it was the fascists and the Soviets warring against democracy.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:36 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]



Most importantly, any conflict where that many people died is not something to celebrate or romanticize.
posted by JPD at 7:35 AM on July 18 [+] [!]


It was a massively significant war to proponents of a certain type of grass roots democracy. Volunteers snuck into Spain from all around the world to fight for it, because they believed that it was worth celebrating and romanticizing. It's inevitably a terribly tragic story, but anyone that supports the kind of democracy that was tried and trampled there is going to have a hard time brushing it aside as just a terrible tragedy. A terrible tragedy, yes, but a lot of very exciting things happened during the war, things that I'd rather not see buried with the dead.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:41 AM on July 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


other democracies were unwilling to help

Well, that's a bit euphemistic; the American and British governments and finance industries froze all of Spains assets because they preferred Franco to elected leftist coalition. Like with Allende's government in Argentina 35 years later, the Soviets were basically the only country on the planet who would trade with them or extend credit.

Also, known members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade were barred from serving in the U.S. military during the war; their files were marked P.A.F.—"premature anti-fascist".
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:29 AM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]




Well, that's a bit euphemistic; the American and British governments and finance industries froze all of Spains assets because they preferred Franco to elected leftist coalition. Like with Allende's government in Argentina 35 years later, the Soviets were basically the only country on the planet who would trade with them or extend credit.


Canada did the same thing, actively blocking support and disallowing their citizens from aiding in the resistance.

It's absolutely tragic, especially in the context of history. Looking back now it looks suspiciously like the "appeasement" in Spain was what gave fascism its toehold in Europe.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:39 AM on July 18, 2011


Strawberry Blondes - No Pasaran! (slyt).
posted by safetyfork at 10:01 AM on July 18, 2011


Make those Baricadas a liitle bit more strong, Barricadas, with double 'r'.

Also, being born in Barcelona in a left wing family with many ties to anarchism, I tend to consider Orwell's Homage to Catalonia the best account of the fucked up that was not only the Spanish Civil War, but also the inner conflcts inside the republican side, specialy in Catalonia. Also read about Andreu Nin and how was a victim of Moscow meddling in the conflict.

VISCA EL POUM!!!!
posted by samelborp at 10:07 AM on July 18, 2011


Yea!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:07 AM on July 18, 2011


Make those Baricadas a liitle bit more strong, Barricadas, with double 'r'.

You've got to burn, burn, burn, burn, burn it to the wick, Ooooooooooooohhhhhh... barricada [badass, crunchy guitar riff]
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:20 AM on July 18, 2011


Jon_Evil: "Like with Allende's government in Argentina 35 years later, the Soviets were basically the only country on the planet who would trade with them or extend credit."

Allende was in Chile and that is bullshit.
posted by falameufilho at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, you're all wrong. Put down your beaver books and pick up some Beevor.

To place blame for the conflict on political leanings of the time seems to me a convenient way to tie in the subsequent global conflict and how it turned out for Germany and the USSR. At the core of the division between the Spanish people was a social revolution that tearing apart the fabric of an age-old system that the elites had used to subjugate the populace.

A stretch would be to find blame in the events of 1898 (Spanish-American War), but the status quo had been maintained during that time and the birth of the Second Republic by a monarchy-supported military dictatorship that kept the simmering social tensions in check which were released with abandon onto a majority of the Spanish people who are notoriously slow to adopt change.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:45 AM on July 18, 2011


Allende was in Chile and that is bullshit.

My bad, he was in Chile. But there also was a huge economic embargo against Allende, which Nixon himself touted as a way to "Save Chile" when the country started nationalizing its industries. More info here.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:59 AM on July 18, 2011


The Spanish civil war remembered
Some 2,400 British men and women travelled to Spain in the 1930s to fight in the civil war against fascism. In 2000 The Guardian interviewed 23 of the 40 survivors.
posted by adamvasco at 11:04 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon_Evil: "But there also was a huge economic embargo against Allende, which Nixon himself touted as a way to "Save Chile" when the country started nationalizing its industries."

US intervention aside, that's a long way from the Soviet Union being Allende's last resort, which you were trying to imply. According to the Mitrokhin Archives, the Soviet Union financed Allende's election, so they were in bed way before Allende walked into La Moneda.
posted by falameufilho at 11:40 AM on July 18, 2011


my grandfather was a 14 year old miner when this happened. One of the reasons I just can't go on every time I start reading Thomas's The Spanish Civil War.

Isn't it the only decent reaction to feel a pit in your stomach when you think of people being killed for refusing to give up freedom? so what if that's a romantic notion? It moves people for the right reasons.
posted by valdesm at 9:31 AM on July 21, 2011


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